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DVI vs. D-Sub VGA: When do you really notice the difference?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 6, 2009 9:47:57 PM

Hi I was wondering since a lot of LCD monitors come with both a DVI and D-Sub connection, when would you really notice the difference?

For example, I have an integrated VGA output on the computer and at what resolution / size would you say you would not want VGA?

Assuming one is not playing Crysis, etc. what other activities would make it “look bad” if noticeable. And is there a deal-breaking point in monitor spec?

Are there any other things to consider?

EDIT: the video chip is an...
Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100
a b C Monitor
December 6, 2009 10:33:22 PM

It's all about the quality of the cables, if they're good enough to handle the signal then you're fine, if they suck then either one can fail, but they fail differently. It also depends on the type of signal and resolution.

1920 X 1440 X 32bit X 60hz easy on VGA fed from a 350+Mhz RAMDAC, not possible on single link DVI at standard 165Mhz.

Over long distances and poor cables you will get interference on both, with the VGA image exhibiting things like blur, colour and pixel shifting, the DVI signal showing dropped pixels (sparkling) colour shifting and plain total black-out (DVI can show 'no image/signal' because it can't discern noise/signal, while VGA will give a distorted image instead).

It's not as simple as A>B etc, but in general DVI is easier for those who don't know the difference, and is a little more tolerant for short distances.
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December 6, 2009 10:35:56 PM

VGA is just older and basically outdated. If you are considering getting a new monitor, there is no reason not to get DVI and it really cost no more. You can always use a VGA to DVI adapter if your computer only has VGA.

My monitor, like many others has a DVI and VGA connector. I hook up two PCs to it using the different connectors, and can use the monitor controls to toggle between PCs.

The question you should be asking now is do you want a monitor with HDMI connector, to which I would reply that it would be good to have for future proofing even if not needed now - but some monitors just don't have one - especially the older models.
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a b C Monitor
December 6, 2009 10:41:27 PM

rockyjohn said:
VGA is just older and basically outdated. If you are considering getting a new monitor, there is no reason not to get DVI and it really cost no more. You can always use a VGA to DVI adapter if your computer only has VGA.


No you can't. :pfff: 
You have that backwards, if your computer only has VGA then you can only connect it to VGA without buying an expensive converter box to change the signal, with a computer that only has a DVI connection, as long as it's not DVI-D only (which is rare), then you can connect it to a VGA monitor with a cheap $2 adapter (of which I have about 20 at work). The only VGA to DVI adapters that work are for Monitors that support DVI-A which are very few like my IBM P260 at work which supports both, and a DVI-only monitor is unlikely to support DVI-A.

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December 6, 2009 10:52:31 PM

It seems that sometimes cables come with the monitor. Is this good? Or are you better off buying a third party cable for lots of money?
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a b C Monitor
December 6, 2009 10:54:30 PM

The included cables are usually fine unless you're trying to run the monitor at distances greater than 9ft.
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